I'm a terrible person. I judge books by covers. One of my favourite things to do is walk around the book store. The books I pick up are the ones with pretty covers. I still remember finding A Darker Shade of Magic for the first time. The duo-tone cover with minimalist art was beautiful. Usually when a cover draws my eye, I look it up on Good Reads. If it's rated above 4, I'll add it to my "to read" list.
I had this book on my Kindle and was looking for something to read prior to bed. I didn't realize it was a Young Adult fiction. That's not a terrible thing necessarily but some of the qualities I didn't like about the book might stem from the target market.
A Darker Shade of Magic was enjoyable. I finished it quite quickly which is usually a good indicator. I really enjoyed the properties of the Antari and how they use their magic. Using blood to empower yourself is an interesting concept to me. What will you let go in order to gain strength?
For me, the worst thing about the book is the lack of consequence. I'm not sure if it is just this world or Young Adult fiction in general but Kell and Lila are seemingly invincible. Everything was too easy. V.E. Schwab even had a fantastic moment to make something real happen, she could've taken the life of Rhys, and she chose not to take it.
I'm not going to dig into the rest of the series but I'm not mad I picked up the book. It was enjoyable and served its purpose. Plus, it had that beautiful cover.